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Frank Rijkaard
"We really had a lot of luck"
 real 28k

The BBC's Alan Green
"What a game in Amsterdam"
 real 28k

Sunday, 11 June, 2000, 20:54 GMT 21:54 UK
Holland escape with lucky win
Holland v Czech Rep
Dennis Bergkamp did well early on for Holland
Holland 1-0 Czech Rep
(Amsterdam - Att: 50,000)

Holland got their Euro 2000 campaign off to a winning start - but only just.

Frank de Boer's penalty in the 89th minute was more than a little harsh on the Czechs, who had dominated for long periods in Amsterdam.

Substitute Marc Overmars, who was left out of the starting line-up after a late fitness test, sent over a hanging cross from the left and Jiri Nemec tangled with Ronald de Boer.

De Boer fell theatrically but referee Pierluigi Collina had no hesitation in pointing to the spot for shirt pulling.


Key moments
13 mins: Kluivert's blocked shot falls to Bergkamp who forces Pavel Srnicek to save well low down
57: Nedved's header hits the post and rolls along the line into van de Sar's hands
64:Koller flicks Poborsky's free-kick onto the bar
89: Frank De Boer scores disputed penalty for Nemec's foul on his brother Ronald
90: Latal dismissed from the bench for dissent

Brother Frank duly stepped up to send Pavel Srnicek the wrong way and at last give the fanatical Dutch fans something to shout about.

Last-ditch block

Holland had started the match well enough, Patrick Kluivert spinning onto a pass eight yards out and only being denied by a last-ditch block.

Arsenal star Dennis Bergkamp then fired in the rebound from 20 yards but his curling effort was saved by keeper Pavel Srnicek.

Two minutes later Kluivert burst through and his drive from the edge of the box was turned away for a corner by Srnicek at full stretch.

Edgar Davids, sporting his trademark goggles, tried to impose his authority on the game with two charges into the box.

But Holland noticeably fell away in the second half in the face of a spirited and confident performance from the Czechs.


Holland v Czech Rep
Pavel Nedved came so close for the Czechs

Inspired by the clever Pavel Nedved in midfield, they fashioned a number of excellent chances and were twice denied by the woodwork.

First Nedved himself outjumped Edgar Davids and powered Jiri Nemec's cross against the inside of the post.

The ball span along the line to be clutched by an extremely grateful Edwin van de Sar.

Dissent

Then giant striker Jan Koller, who had twice been thwarted by van de Sar, got the better of Jaap Stam and flicked Karel Poborsky's free-kick against the crossbar.

But the Czechs paid dearly for failing to take those opportunities when Holland's two substitutes combined to win the spot-kick that earned the co-hosts the most fortunate of victories.

And Radoslav Latal, one of many on the Czech bench who visibly demonstrated their anger at the penalty award, was dismissed for dissent having earlier been replaced on the field by Radek Bejbl.


Holland: van der Sar, Reiziger, Stam (Konterman 74), F. de Boer, Zenden (Overmars 78), Seedorf (R. de Boer 57), Cocu, Davids, Kluivert, Bergkamp, van Bronckhorst.

Czech Republic: Srnicek, Repka, Latal (Bejbl 70), Nedved (Lokvenc 90), Nemec, Poborsky, Koller, Rosicky, Smicer (Kuka 83), Rada, Gabriel.

Referee: P Collina (Italy)

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See also:

11 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Fortune favours Frank
11 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
Holland v Czech Republic in pictures
09 Jun 00 | Holland
No more rows, insists Rijkaard
06 Jun 00 | Holland
Bergkamp's Euro 2000 swansong
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